Is uni worth it?

Recently I found the section of the university website with the breakdown of my fees. This is, for the record, not something you should ever go looking for. I didn’t need to know how much I paid to do that mind-numbing history class last year or how many DVDs I could afford if I wasn’t doing Digital Culture.

It doesn’t matter where you are in life; university costs a lot of money.
If you’re going to be a doctor, that’s just something you have to deal with. You go to university, you do a degree and at the end of however many years you go out into the world and you use that degree to get a job.
But did anyone ever get employed off the back of an Arts degree? No employee is going to take one look at my BA from the University of Newcastle and hire me right then and there. To be honest I don’t actually need a degree. I could be working in the television industry right now. I could be writing full time. I certainly wouldn’t be earning any less money in the real world; meanwhile I wouldn’t be racking up thousands in debt to learn about children’s literature.
I’m majoring in Creative Writing and Cultural Studies. There’s a lot of debate within the arts as to whose major is the most useless. I happen to think Cultural Studies pretty much wins hands down. Not even people who lecture in cultural studies know what you’re actually supposed to use it for, short of writing research papers on HBO mini-series.
After I discovered exactly how much each and every one of my required courses is costing, I did a lot of thinking. What has university actually given me for all those dollars?
University made me move out of home. It forced me to pack up my existence and leap into the real world. University has taught me to pay bills and do my own shopping and make dinner using only a few shrivelled vegetables and a packet of penne. You don’t need university to do these things but somehow it’s more acceptable to fumble through them under the guise of “student”. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise. I certainly wouldn’t have been brave enough to just jump into the real world and look for work. I think I needed this gateway. To learn how to live.
University has taught me to play Quidditch and Sopio and Dungeons & Dragons. Things which would have probably sailed right past me otherwise. Now they are a part of who I am. These are things I can take with me beyond uni, tools to deal with greater reality.
I’ve made a lot of friends at uni. Friends who introduced me to Nerdfighteria and all sorts of new TV and tequila. Friends who I made because we liked all the same things and not because we happened to be raised in the same town at the same time.
University isn’t about university. Not really. Even if you’re only here so you can get qualified. I’m paying a lot of money to learn things. A lot of those things happen to be genuinely useful. That lecture might have been two of the dullest hours of my life but I’m actually glad I know how to correctly use a semicolon. I don’t regret the hours I spent researching the mix tape. One of the pieces I wrote for my creative writing class won me an award.
At the end of the day, I think uni is worth it. For me. 

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year